Prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty gave a powerful closing argument today as the case against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev goes to the jury after weeks of testimony.
The defense did the best they could, admitting that Dzhokhar planted the bomb at the marathon finish line while shifting most of the blame to his older brother, Tamerlan. But their strategy to save Dzhokhar’s life won’t fully come into play until the case moves into the death-penalty phase.
After a series of bench conferences during which, presumedly, a stipulation was hammered out, the jury was told that one of the victims of the Marathon bombing was a foreign citizen. Then the defense rested after calling just four witnesses.
A forensic computer expert testified that searches relating to the marathon, and Ruger handgun were made on Tamerlan’s Samsung computer, while most of the searches on Dzhokhar’s Vaio computer were related to social media.
An FBI fingerprint analyst, who was originally scheduled to testify for the prosecution but was instead called by the defense, said that the only prints that belonged to Dzhokhar were lifted from a plastic food container filled with explosive, while his brother Tamerlan’s prints were on a transmitter, a pressure cooker lid, a jar of nails, a caulking gun, rolls of duct tape and a soldering iron.
The last witness called before the government rested its case against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was the medical examiner who did the autopsy on eight-year-old Martin Richard. Martin’s parents were in the courtroom as the ME held up some of the clothing he was wearing when the bomb ripped his body apart.Also shown to the jury were nails, BB’s and shrapnel that was removed from Martin’s body.
There were other witnesses, and the defense began their case. Here are the rest of today’s sketches.
Prosecutors at the Tsarnaev trial today called an FBI chemist and FBI hazardous devices expert to who both testified about the explosive devices used in the marathon bombing and Watertown shootout. But one detail is still missing, where the bombs were assembled.
At the end of the day a medical examiner was called and jurors were shown autopsy photos of bombing victim Krystle Campbell.
More testimony today from investigators who searched the Tsarnaev apartment and Dzhokhar’s dorm room where they found materials that could have been used to build the pressure cooker bombs.
Another FBI agent described efforts to track the movements of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan using GPS devices, store receipts and surveillance video.
And yet another agent told how they searched a landfill to find the backpack full of fireworks and other items from Dzhokhar’s room that his friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, threw into a dumpster.
The government is saving the best for last, so tomorrow should be interesting.
Boston Globe story here.
With the government expected to rest on Thursday, the pace picked up at the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. We heard from eight more witnesses, mostly FBI and State Police, on evidence gathering, ballistics and fingerprints.
Tomorrow the jury will be shown a mock-up of the pressure cooker bomb, and on Thursday they’ll see the autopsy photos. Expect a verdict next week.
What a change from the first week of trial when we could barely keep up with witnesses. Today we didn’t get complete testimony from even one witness, nor any new exhibits.
The FBI cyber squad agent who took the stand last week completed his testimony this morning and then we moved on to Dr Matthew Levitt, an expert on jihad who would provide context to the statement Tsarnaev penciled on the inside of the boat. It was expected that Dr. Levitt’s testimony would be completed today since he had a flight to catch this evening, but it looks like he’ll have to change his plans. He’s due back tomorrow.
After hearing from an FBI bomb tech who identified the remains of a pressure cooker bomb that was shown to the jury the government moved on to digital evidence on various electronic devices. Identifying incriminating files out of the reams of data on computer, thumb drive, iPhones and CD’s was slow going. The witness from the FBI’s cyber squad, Kevin Swinden, will be back Monday for the defense’s cross-examination.
Yesterday’s evidence at the Boston Marathon bombing trial concentrated on the Watertown bombs and the Mercedes SUV that Tamerlane and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev carjacked. All the witnesses were either State Crime Lab or FBI.
We had just four witnesses today, the owner of the boat where Tsarnaev was found hiding, a longtime friend and fellow pot-head who lent Dzhokhar a handgun
, and two FBI forensic experts. Some of the jurors wore green for St. Patrick’s Day (note the juror on the left with the shamrock t-shirt.